Sunday, July 13, 2014

Undead in Khorlhossa

I've started to think about the undead and their place in Khorlhossa.  I don't want the standard issue skeletons/zombies/ghouls/wights/mummies/vampires/liches; I don't feel like they have a place, overall, in this sort of setting.  So here's a couple ideas for undead more appropriate for Khorlhossa:

The Dark Hosts

When the dead of Khorlhossa aren't disposed of properly and swiftly (i.e., by being eaten by their loved ones), the corpse is likely to become the host to a form of incorporeal, free-roaming Demon known as an Infestor.  These Demons, in their natural state, resemble an oily greenish cloud with a vague intimation of a sardonic face in their billowing coils of vapor.  Upon entering the body of a dead human, the Infestor animates it into a ghastly parody of life known as a Dark Host.  The body's teeth and nails extend into razor-sharp fangs and talons, their flesh draws tight over their bones, and they seek to avoid the light of the sun - for the cleansing light of the sun will drive an Infestor from the body it commands.

Dark Hosts are typically 4HD monsters (though may be much higher, depending on the HD of the human possessed) with two claw attacks (dealing 1d6+1 apiece) and a bite attack (1d6 plus 3 points Constitution drain, no save).  They can burrow at a rate of 1/3 their normal ground speed, are immune to cold, take minimum damage from piercing weapons, and need to save vs. spells each round they are exposed to sunlight or be destroyed as the Infestor is driven from their body.

The Devil-Bought

Calibans and Magic-Users occasionally work to ensure their bodies are not consumed upon death.  They will erect hidden tombs and vaults for themselves, complete with doors that can only be opened from within, and seal themselves inside.  Arranging themselves upon an obsidian slab, they commit suicide, rising as Devil-Bought, blasphemous undead creatures.  Appearing much as they did in life but with drawn, skeletal faces and burning eyes, the Devil-Bought can plot and scheme for centuries, building their power from the shadows and manipulating men and monsters alike to achieve greater and greater goals of unbridled power.

Devil-Bought are invariably high-level Magic-Users or Calibans (at least 7th-8th level).  They are immune to cold and cannot be harmed by wooden or bone weapons, take half-damage from stone or obsidian weapons, and full damage from metal weapons.  Their lairs are typically guarded by an assortment of summoned and bound Demons, and many of them become the focal points of cults or covens, surrounding themselves with lesser spellcasters - more as a form of ablative armor then as apprentices.  Some Devil-Bought have a touch attack that drains 5 points of Intelligence from their victims, no save.

No comments:

Post a Comment